just under 20g to now 16kg. “This weight reduction was vital. For a lot of people, that figure is the threshold between being able to and not being able to lift it.” As well as making the overall scooter lighter, the company also made it easier for users to remove the battery and included a USB port in the battery pack for users to charge devices such as phones and laptops. “The battery only weighs 1.8kg, so people wanted to take the battery out so they could charge it in the house whilst leaving the scooter in the car, so we made it very easy for them to do this,” added Sumi. The result is a mobility scooter that is lighter, stronger and more durable than its original according to Sumi, with the company currently mass producing the eFoldi ready for an Autumn launch. ON THE LOOKOUT FOR MOBILITY RETAILERS With the product refined, the company is now exploring ways to bring her father’s invention to market and is looking in the direction of mobility dealers. “We are keen to start working with retailers to sell the product,” Sumi told us. “We are as much as an R&D company as a manufacturer, so our expertise does not lie in customer service. At the moment, we deal directly with end-users, however this is the legacy of the crowdfunding. “This was great at the beginning for feedback, but later as we roll the new product out, we would like to leave that to people who are experts with customers, like regional dealers.” Suntech UK will continue to sell the eFoldi via their website for a transitional period says the company, but plans to eventually get to a point where they can nominate stockists to customers by postcode. “At the moment, we have had a lot of interest
from down in the South Coast and also in the Midlands, but we welcome all dealers nationwide to get in touch. We think it will be a great addition to their product portfolios,” added Sumi. GLOBAL AMBITIONS AND MORE INNOVATIONS Following the crowdfunding success, which saw eFoldi receive pledges from the USA, Holland, Italy and even as far as Thailand, Sumi is convinced that the eFoldi has global appeal. “The USA certainly offers us the most potential and really is the big market to crack. “We have also seen a lot of interest from China and we already “We have had a lot of interest have a distributor in from down in the South Coast the country. Its proving popular because the and also in the Midlands, product was originally but we welcome all dealers designed to operate in Beijing, so it really nationwide to get in touch” fits in with people’s lifestyle there.” Not one to rest on her laurels, she also discussed some new projects in the pipeline; proving she has inherited the same restless drive that inspired her father to create the first eFoldi prototype years ago. She told THIIS: “We are already looking at expanding the product range, including working on a compact, folding powerchair to add to the range.” Sumi will be showcasing the new eFoldi on stand A5 at Trade Days at the NEC in Birmingham on the 8th and 9th of October. To find out more about retailer opportunities, contact Sumi on email@example.com The website for the company is www.efoldi. co.uk
What is the eFoldi? Created to help get people around easily, the lightweight scooter can be easily folded into a comfortable chair or portable suitcase. Designed for the elderly and those with limited mobility who are unable to walk for long distances, the company says most customers are people who need a walking aid but do not want the label associated with mobility scooters.
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